How to take care of your hearing aids
Modern hearing aids are getter smaller and powerful which promotes longer periods of usage to help us hear better, hear more and stay connected. Understanding how to take care of your hearing aids will help to extend its lifespan and ensure they are always there for our hearing lifestyle needs as Mr Wang, son of one of our hearing aid users share.
Mr Wang discovered his mum stopped wearing her hearing aids for a while and upon checking, realised it is because it stopped working. He brought it to our clinic for check and we discovered:
a) there is no sound coming out from the hearing aid
b) the battery inside is covered with moisture
We sent it back to the manufacturer’s repair laboratory who advises the hearing aid’s electronic components and faceplate were corroded and in need of major repair. Corrosion due to moisture and lack of maintenance in our humid climate is the leading reason for major repair and impacts one’s hearing lifestyle.
Hearing Aid Care 101
Hearing aid’s care is simple as you will see from our guide below highlighting five common user experience scenarios:
1) Clean and Dry
Prolonged exposure to moisture e.g. from perspiration, humidity is the top reason leading to corrosion and in turn major repairs.
The hearing aid is a small, high precision electronic instrument that should not touch water. As a rule of thumb, please remove the hearing aid before you shower, swim, haircut/colour or when using aerosol or liquid spray items like perfume, hair spray etc.
Here are the cleaning and drying steps:
1) use a dry cloth or tissue to wipe the hearing aids dry daily
2) use a small brush to remove any dirt or ear wax around the ear mould or c-stop area of the custom-made or RIC hearing aid
3) Open the battery door of the hearing aid to allow any moisture within to be absorbed as well
4) Place both hearing aids into the container for drying
You can either use the disposable drying capsule or the electronic dry lux box; an electronic version that helps to disinfect as well as dries your hearing aid in a more powerful manner. The electronic dry lux is also suitable for those who tends to perspire more, given its more powerful drying ability.
For disposable drying capsule, please replace once it completely changes colour i.e. from orange to white which typically happens in 4 weeks’ time.
2) Speaker and Microphone
Another common feedback is user feels the hearing aid’s sound output becomes soft or there is completely no sound coming out from the hearing aid.
This may be due to blocked or broken C-stop wax filter and/or microphone which affected the sounds coming in or out. In severe cases, the ear wax may enter into the hearing aid and damage the electronic components such as speaker in the process.
Please check and replace them accordingly during the daily cleaning process.
3) C-stop wax filter
Some hearing aid styles come with a wax filter designed to prevent dirt and ear wax from entering the hearing aid and affecting its function. We call this C-stop wax filter or C-stop for short. There are several types of C-stop as you can see from the pictures below. Your Audiologist will advise you of the correct type to use as well as C-stop changing method.
As a rule of thumb, please replace when it is blocked or once every 2 months.
When the hearing aid will not be used for an extended period e.g. a few weeks or months, please take out the battery before storing. This will prevent the battery from getting inflated or leaks which will affect the hearing aid’s functionality.
5) Ear mould tubing
In behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid model, there is a tubing that connects the ear mould to the hearing aid. This tubing will harden with wear and tear over time. When this happens, please return to our clinic to replace it. Our recommendation is to change it annually.
Doing regular check and cleaning on your hearing aids aka mini computers will extends its life span and helps you hear better, hear more in everyday lives.